Schwinn Crewmaster Rower Review

Schwinn Crewmaster Rower ReviewThe Schwinn Crewmaster Rower is the newest edition to the Schwinn Fitness lineup of rowers!

Scratch that…it’s the only rower in the Schwinn Fitness lineup!

Previously Schwinn had a rowing machine called the “Windrigger Rowing Machine” but that has now been replaced with the “Crewmaster”.

Schwinn is a well-known and trusted fitness brand so you should expect a high-quality rowing machine to be backed by this company.

After performing a thorough review, I think it ticks a lot of boxes for what a person is looking for in a great rowing machine. It’s well-built, has great magnetic resistance, and a smooth rowing stroke. Plus, it’s at a great price!

However, it’s not all “pros” for this model. There are a few “cons” you should know about before buying.

Make sure to read the full Schwinn Crewmaster Rower review below before making that final buying decision!

Resistance Type

The Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing machine is a magnetic resistance rower. This means it uses a metal flywheel and magnetic eddy-currents to create resistance.

It’s a really cool concept and it creates a smooth, virtually silent rowing machine resistance.

Magnetic resistance works by having a large metal flywheel at the front of the rowing machine. As the user pulls the handle, the flywheel will spin. There is a magnet next to the flywheel that creates resistance as the flywheel spins.

The closer the magnet is to the flywheel, the more resistance. The further the magnet is, the lower the resistance.

We call this “adjustable” resistance because a user can adjust the distance the magnet is from the flywheel by spinning a dial. Thus, increasing or decreasing the resistance.

Below is a video showing what I mean:

If you would like to learn more about magnetic resistance and how it differs from ‘variable’ resistance rowers, like air resistance – check out my article here.

Resistance Benefits

The Schwinn Rower has 10 levels of magnetic resistance, which is great because it gives you a lot of variety when performing a workout.

Equipped with a 9 lb. flywheel means almost every user felt the resistance was smooth and strong. No one mentioned it was too weak and beginner rowers all the way up to advanced athletes felt the resistance was strong enough to receive a great workout.

Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine Resistance

To adjust the resistance, simply spin the dial on the center console between levels 1 – 10. You barely have to slow down to adjust the dial, so you can ramp up the resistance when doing HIIT workouts!

One major benefit is how quiet the rowing machine operates. Magnetic resistance creates almost zero noise so it’s great for people living in apartments or who want to exercise early in the morning when their family is sleeping.

Resistance Overall

Overall, I didn’t read any complaints about the resistance. It’s smooth, strong, and quiet – just like a magnetic rower should be!

If resistance levels were a concern, you can check that off your comparison list and move on to the monitor section.

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Monitor/Control Panel

In this price range you, unfortunately, will not find an advanced monitor. However, the Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine comes equipped with a monitor that will cover all your basic rowing needs.

There is a large, LCD monitor that will track the following workout metrics:

  • Time
  • Count (number of strokes for current workout)
  • Distance
  • Total Count (total strokes done for the history of the machine)
  • Calories
  • RPM (stroker per minute)
  • Pulse
  • Scan

As you can see from the photo below, the monitor is not backlit but the large numbers are easy to read and track.

Schwinn Crewmaster Rower Monitor

It’s very intuitive to use and is mounted on an adjustable arm. This means a user can adjust the position to the optimal level.

There are only 3 buttons on the monitor: Set, Reset, and Mode

Simply hit the ‘Mode’ button to change metrics or hold for 3 seconds to enter ‘Scan’ mode.

According to the manual, older models show the distance in miles, while newer versions show it in kilometers. This did bother some people because they prefer one over the other, but most rowers use kilometers or meters to track distance.

There is a pulse setting but you will need a Bluetooth heart rate monitor to enable this feature. Schwinn mentions, “The heart rate chest strap must be an uncoded heart rate strap from Polar Electro or an uncoded POLAR™ compatible model. (Coded POLAR® heart rate straps such as POLAR® OwnCode® chest straps will not work with this equipment.)”

You can view some top-selling Heart Rate Monitors here.

Monitor Downsides

There weren’t many downsides to the monitor other than the fact it’s fairly basic.

There does seem to be demand for a more advanced monitor in this price range. However, the monitor seems to be a major cost of the rower so it always drives the price up into the higher range. In the higher price range, you will see more accurate data calculations, electronic control of the resistance, and more features.

The accuracy of the data on this rower will be fairly low. It’s extremely hard to calculate distance on a rowing machine because it requires a complex formula that must take into account factors like how hard and long you pull the handle, how much friction is created by the flywheel, etc. More accurate monitors can be found on rowing machines like the Concept2 Model D or the WaterRower Natural.

The only other downside is the monitor requires 2AA batteries to operate, which isn’t all that bad.

Monitor Overall

As you can see, the monitor is easy to read, easy to use, and fairly basic.

It’s fine for most users and it’s really not a big deal if all you want to do is calculate time, distance, strokes – and watch a nice Netflix show.

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Build Quality

Build quality is an important feature in this price range because buyers typically want something better than the budget rowers but aren’t quite ready to spend money on a higher-end model. This leaves manufacturers a choice with where to find those cost savings – advanced vs. basic monitor, metal vs. plastic parts, long vs. short warranty.

Luckily, Schwinn Fitness is a well-known brand in the home-fitness niche and they typically have high-quality equipment. They also stand by their equipment, as you will see in the warranty section.

The Schwinn Crewmaster Rower is mostly made of plastic but the key components are all metal. There is a steel seat rail and the footplates are also steel.

There is a center support beam right under the seat rail that acts as another point of contact with the floor to increase stability and support strength. This allows for a higher weight capacity and less movement in the machine while rowing (see the beam in the picture below)

Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine Quality

All of the other components appear to be well-made and no users complained of anything breaking prematurely. The foot-straps and footrests are all high quality, as well as the handle.

The handle is attached to a nylon strap that is connected to the flywheel. While a nylon strap is not as durable as a chain (as seen on other models) it is used to reduce the amount of noise. How annoying would it be to have a virtually silent resistance and all you hear is a metal chain being pulled and recoiled! The nylon strap is very common on magnetic rowers and they rarely ever wear out or fray.

Users also mentioned the seat did not wobble and the bearings felt very smooth rolling along the seat track. It did not feel cheaply made like some of the lower-end rowers.

Overall, I think the Schwinn Rowing Machine is a solidly built rower and would be considered high-quality in this price range.

Check out their promo video below to see the Schwinn Rower in action:

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A rowing machine is one piece of fitness equipment where comfort matters. Due to the rowing stroke being a bit of an odd movement, you want to make sure you’re comfortable doing it, otherwise, you’ll never use your rowing machine!

Based on feedback from Schwinn Crewmaster users, the rower appears to have a comfortable design and everything needed for a smooth rowing stroke.

Firstly, the features are all considered “oversize” which means the rower is built for comfort, not for the fastest rowing times. This means the seat, handle, and footrests are all designed with your comfort in mind.

Schwinn Crewmaster Comfort

The footrests are easily adjusted and can accommodate any shoe size. There is a plastic foot-cup for your heel and a basic strap that tightens over the balls of your feet. The footrests are fixed, meaning they don’t pivot. This is normal on most rowing machines, as it allows for a sturdier platform to drive-off of while performing a rowing stroke. Some models have pivoting pedals but it’s really a personal preference on what you like better.

The handle is slightly padded and curved for your comfort. This reduces hand and wrist fatigue while rowing.

A rowing machine seat is always a concern and a lot of users’ butts can start to hurt after rowing for a long period of time. The seat is fairly large and measures about 15.0″ wide and 12.0″ long. You can always check out my article on how to prevent butt pain while rowing if this is an issue for you.

Comfort Downsides

As you can see from some photos, the seat rail is fairly low to the floor (about 12.0″). This is the only feature where users had a negative comment.

Some users prefer a taller seat height because it allows them to get on and off the rower more easily.

I also noticed the handle & strap enter the housing at a slightly lower point than other rowers. This means taller users will have a bit of a lower angle when returning the handle back to the “catch” or starting position. Sometimes, this can bother a user as the handle should be returned parallel to where you pull the handle to your chest.

Comfort Overall

Overall, users felt the Schwinn Rowing Machine provided a smooth, quiet, and comfortable rowing stroke.

If you’re looking to row without making much noise or while watching TV, it’s perfect! Just check out how quiet it is in the video below:

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If you’re short on space, then having a rowing machine that can be stored away is super helpful. While most people have a vision of storing it in a closet or under a bed – I want to tell you this is usually not possible!

The Schwinn Crewmaster Rower can easily fold for storage and can be done in a few simple steps:

  1. Slide the seat forward and release the locking pin under the seat rail.
  2. Fold the seat rail up until you hear the locking pin click back into place.
  3. Tilt the rower forward and wheel the rower into the desired location.

It’s that easy and takes only seconds to complete.

Schwinn Rowing Machine Storage

As you can see in the photo, the rowing machine is still fairly tall when folded so I don’t think it will fit in a coat closet. When stored the dimensions are: 93.1” L x 21.1” W x 31.7” H

There’s not much else to it! Just another nice feature on the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower!

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When getting into the “mid” price range, you will start to see rowers with higher weight and height capacities due to the larger size and better build quality.

Based on user feedback and reaching out to the manufacturer, the maximum capacity is 300 lbs. (136 kg) for weight and around 6’6″ for height.

Height is a bit tricky because it depends on inseam length and not all people who are the same height have the same inseam length.

Schwinn Rower Capacity

One trick, if you are around 6’6″, is to remove the rubber stopper on the seat rail. It is a safety mechanism to prevent someone from hitting the back of the seat rail but if you remove it, you will get another 1-2″ of travel. Be very careful if you do this but those 1-2″ can mean all the difference!

So if you are around 300lbs. and 6’6″ tall, you should have no issues using this rowing machine! There are no lower-end restrictions on this rower, so if you are vertically challenged, like me, you are fine :)

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There were a few variations of dimensions floating around the web but the manual states:

    • Assembled Dimensions (L x W x H):
      • 89.10″ x 21.10″ x 31.70″
    • Stored Dimensions (L x W x H)
      • 51.0″ x 21.10″ x 57.0″
    • Shipping Dimensions (L x W x H)
      • Box 1: 49.0″ x 10.0″ x 24.50″ (73 lbs.)
      • Box 2: 58.0″ x 8.0″ x 11.0″ (34.65 lbs.)
    • Assembled Weight: 90 lbs.

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Assembling fitness equipment can be a real pain and I wish I could tell you this rowing machine comes pre-assembled. However, it doesn’t!

The good news, it isn’t that hard to assemble and can be comfortably done in under 45 minutes.

The rower comes in 2 boxes, so make sure you have both before you start! I’ve heard of people receiving the boxes on different days and being totally confused when they open a box without half of the parts!

The photo below shows how many pieces it comes in, so as you can see it’s not a lot of work….but it’s also not a little.

Schwinn Crewmaster Rower Assembly

All of the tools needed for assembly come with the rowing machine but you will need 2 AA batteries.

Schwinn does recommend using 2 people to help hold pieces in place while you screw them in, but many people said they did the assembly by themselves with no issues.

There are very easy-to-read instructions in the manual, so clear out some space, put on some music, and just take your time!

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Pros and Cons


  • Virtually silent resistance
  • 10 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Easy to read monitor
  • Good build quality
  • Excellent warranty
  • Smooth rowing stroke
  • Foldable storage
  • Fair price


  • Not an advanced monitor
  • Handle entry into the housing can feel low
  • Heavy
  • Not the easiest assembly

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Consumer Reviews

One silver lining of the pandemic is A LOT of people purchased rowing machines. This means there are a decent amount of consumer reviews on all the models.

Based on reading every review, yes I read every Schwinn Rower review, it appears the rower faired pretty well.

Most consumers were extremely happy with the rowing machine and felt it provided an adequate workout. They liked the smooth, silent resistance and felt the price was fair. Most understood they were not going to receive a high-quality rower similar to the $1,000 models and thought they got what they paid for. Another big compliment was the long warranty.

Some downsides they mentioned were the basic monitor and the rowing machine not being super easy to move around because of its size and weight.

One thing I noticed and wanted to point out was that a lot of negative reviews came from people who received a damaged product from shipping. Now we really can’t blame Schwinn for how a shipping company handles the product and I’m sure shippers had their hands full with the increase in the number of deliveries during the pandemic. Schwinn also takes back any damaged products but I understand it can be a pain to return a delivered package.

Overall, I think the Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine reviews were very positive and showed it’s a great purchase!

You can read more Schwinn Rower reviews here.

Average Rating: 4.7

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I’m a firm believer that a company who has a good warranty on their product means they stand behind their quality and Schwinn definitely passes this test. They offer the following warranty:

  • Frame: 10-Years
  • Mechanical Parts: 3-Years
  • Electronic Parts: 3-Years
  • Wear Parts (Seat assembly with rollers, seat rollers, footplate pads, footplate straps, pull handle): 6-Months
  • Labor: 1-Year

That is a great warranty on a product in this price range! Keep in mind, you must register your product on the website and the warranty cannot be transferred to another person if it is sold.

If there are any issues with the rower they say, “please give us a call directly at 1-800-605-3369″.

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Schwinn Crewmaster Rower Price

When I first started reviewing rowing machines there was around 20 models in total! This meant there were a lot of gaps in the market. For example, you couldn’t find a magnetic rower under $500 in 2013.

Now, they have multiple models in each price range with each type of resistance. There are more features and gadgets than a car!

I do think there was a small gap in the marketplace and I think Schwinn was able to fill it. Many users were looking for a high-quality rower with strong resistance for around $500. It didn’t seem like you could find that anywhere. There were higher-priced rowing machines and budget models, but no really good in-between models.

I think that’s what people mention the most when they talk about the Schwinn Rower price – they feel they are getting a good quality rower for a decent price.

The link below will show you the current price of the rower. It can vary so please don’t get mad at me if it’s being discounted or they have raised the price due to high demand!

I do think Amazon is a great place to buy a rowing machine because they offer free shipping on qualified orders, great customer service, and a layer of protection between you and the consumer.

Overall Review

Overall, I feel the Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine is great for someone looking to buy a high-quality magnetic rower in the mid-price range.

It has a strong, smooth, quiet rowing stroke and a great warranty. What more can you ask for!

If you are sold on magnetic resistance, I will show the 3 best budget magnetic options (in case the price is too high) and the best magnetic rower in the next price range higher.

Top budget options:

  1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515
  2. MaxKare Magnetic Rower
  3. Fitness Reality 1000 Plus

If you want a magnetic rower with a better monitor and electronic controlled resistance, then check out the Stamina Avari Programmable Rower.

That’s all folks! You should have all the information you need to decide if this rower is the right choice for you! I hope you enjoyed my Schwinn Crewmaster Rower review and feel free to drop a comment below!

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